Mack Burgess: His Legacy and Our Challenge

Yesterday, the Georgia political community lost a young man who was truly a rudder for the Georgia political machine. Mack Burgess, a passionate GA GOP staffer, a proud member of Team Deal, and previous campaign manager for the Pridemore for Congress campaign, was killed in a car accident on GA400. While the statements have been pouring out from campaigns, activists, and friends alike, words simply can’t–and won’t–do Mack justice.

I went to high school with Mack at Centennial and when our paths crossed again on the campaign trail, I was beyond elated to see that he was just as kind and upbeat as he had been in our teens. Never one to utter a negative word about another and genuinely a positive person. He oozed greatness. Not to mention his gracious demeanor and humility indicated to all of us that he was going big places. Huge.

The Lord took Mack in what us Earthly folk consider untimely, but for God, it is all clear. I know this to be true despite the sadness and grief. Our hearts ache for his family, for we know they are suffering greatly right now.

For me though, Mack’s death serves as the glorification of a legacy built long before the day Mack started politicking and an all-too-timely reminder of the principle of ‘personhood’ in politics. With an election in less than 30 days, it is an all but unnecessary reminder that at this very moment, many of us are losing sight of the people around us and only seeing the November 4th goal posts. Mack didn’t operate like that.

Driven, competitive and motivated, yes. But you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t find an interaction with Mack to be a character building exercise for themselves. Mack’s disposition was a constant reminder that there are good people in politics and his respect for people across the board illustrated that you can, in fact, have friends in this awful industry. Mack knew this and he did it all right. He was wise beyond his years.

Going forward, I challenge you to do something that’s much harder than we would all like to admit. I challenge everyone to play like Mack. I challenge you to remember that we are all working towards a finish line, but that we must take time to praise the people around us working just as hard. Welcome the quiet person in the back of the room, hold the door for the person you know doesn’t like you, show mercy to the people working against you.. Thank your boss for the opportunity (to work painfully long hours), tell your opposition they did a good job, extend a hand to the person who has nothing to offer you in this political game.

Not everyone is the enemy. Mack knew that. Mack’s life and legacy should serve as a DAILY reminder in life, and politics especially, that we are human, and we are not living right unless we recognize that we have no purpose unless we help, respect and embrace each other. Every day. Life is precious.

Yesterday, the Georgia political community lost a young man who was truly a rudder for the Georgia political machine. As we grieve the loss of Mack, and lift his family up in prayer, I ask that we all reflect on who Mack was to us individually. It will likely make you want to be a little bit better every day. Though, unlike him, we will actually have to try.”

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3